Social Work/Professional Counselor Internship with Office of Rehabilitation and Development

Position Type: Internship

About The Job

PDS Overview:

The Office of Rehabilitation and Development (ORD) is composed of licensed forensic social workers and licensed forensic professional counselors who are sentencing specialists. The staff work with PDS clients who present a broad range of emotional, social, physical, psychiatric, and substance abuse-related problems. The staff develop least restrictive, individualized sentencing and rehabilitation plans, in-depth mitigation reports, case-based counseling, case management, and collaboration with criminal and/or juvenile justice agencies and other parties working with our clients. The staff make clinical recommendations on behalf of PDS clients to the D.C. Superior Court. Because ORD staff are well versed in all of the D.C. area rehabilitative programs (for example, drug treatment, job training, education programs, and parenting classes), they are frequently asked to provide consultation for judges, CJA lawyers, and others in the criminal justice system.  

Major Duties:

  • Visit clients at jails, juvenile detention facilities, hospital, halfway houses, other community placements, and clients’ homes.
  • Review and summarize client records. 
  • Complete psychosocial evaluations.
  • Assist clients with connections to services. 
  • Attend court proceedings on behalf of clients. 
  • Communicate with families, agencies and other supportive individuals.
  • Write sentencing memoranda on behalf of clients. 
  • Document all work into the agency’s computer case tracking system.

Required Qualifications:

Students must have strong written and oral communication skills as well as a familiarity with D.C. community resources/service providers. We are accepting graduate interns.   

Number of vacancies:

WE ARE NOT CURRENTLY ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS. Prospective interns should check back in early 2024 for an update as to when we will start accepting applications again.

How to Apply:

Email cover letter, resume and 2 references (at least one from an employer) to our Administrative Assistant, Pam Henderson at [email protected].  You may also submit these documents via Fax to 202-824-2039 (this fax number is her private number so there is no need for a cover page). Upon receipt of your documents, the Division Manager (or her representative) will review them and then contact you with more information and next steps.


The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS) is a federally funded, independent organization; governed by an eleven-member Board of Trustees, PDS provides legal representation to individuals facing a loss of freedom in the local criminal, delinquency, and mental health systems in the District of Columbia. PDS’s approximately 275 attorneys, social workers, investigative specialists, administrative, and technical staff collaborate with each other to advance the PDS mission. PDS’s main office is located at 633 3rd Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001. District of Columbia residency is not a requirement for employment. PDS is funded by federal appropriations, and all employees are entitled to participate in the federal health and life insurance plans, the federal retirement plans (FERS, FERS-RAE, FERS-FRAE, CSRS, CSRS-Offset), and the Thrift Savings Plan. Transferring employees will receive recognition of creditable federal service for leave accrual and retirement purposes. Employment at PDS is neither federal nor District of Columbia government employment, and all employees are at-will.

PDS is an E-Verify participating agency. Please see the Right to Work Poster and the E-Verify Participation Poster for more information.


PDS is an Equal Opportunity Employer and E-Verify Participant.